You'll wish that summer
could always
be here!

Do ordinary things with extraordinary love.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuesday Tales

A weekly peek at what we're reading.
Post your peek in the comments and share your favorite books!

Anne is still reading
Peace and Plenty by Sarah Ban Breathnach

I have a theory about feeling protected and prepared.  We assign money that job, and obviously it does it well.  When money isn't what we've got to exchange, however, we need the currency of ingenuity and planning.  Every day we need to be prepared in small ways as well as large, and every day we find new wants and needs that can be satisfied through our creativity and organization.
Holly is still reading
Ginnie's Baby-sitting Business by Catherine Woolley
That night Ginnie had trouble getting to sleep.  For the first time the magnitude of what she had blithely undertaken loomed large.  She recalled, suddenly, the trouble she had had with Tommy when Susan insisted on his being Mrs. Bobbin.  Suppose they all lay down on the attic floor and kicked and screamed?  They wouldn't listen long to a story.  And two babies in playpens in her room!  Would Geneva be willing to stay with those two?  That meant she would have six to handle herself.  Mother might come . . . but no, Mother said it was all up to her.

Lily is reading
Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg

A torn piece of paper . . . is just the beginning!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Reference Shelf: The Creative Family

The Creative Family
by Amanda Blake Soule

It's probably hard for any of us, much less our children, to imagine a time before computers and television or even radio, when families gathered after an evening meal for some entertainment and play with each other rather than with electronics.  Traditional parlor games, those that do not require any materials, such as a board or cards, are one of the ways families passed the time together.  These games provided a way for them to be together -- imagining, creating, and playing.  Blindman's buff and charades are perhaps the games that have carried over most into our modern times, but there are manymore that are similarly creative, open-ended, and fun for the whole family.

There seems to be less time in our lives for such games now, but I think that might be because we are out of the practice of playing together.  So often, we separate to our own bedrooms or to playing with those our own age.  I encourage you to give an evening of parlor games a try in your home after dinner some evening or on a regular night each week.

Tuesday Tales

A weekly peek at what we're reading.
Post your peek in the comments and share your favorite books!

Anne is reading
Peace and Plenty by Sarah Ban Breathnach

When discouragement comes, I comfort myself by thinking of the long line of heroic women behind me -- not only those in my family, but every woman settler, explorer, adventurer, and homemaker who tamed wild land and wild times around the world.  I particularly love to meditate on the first band of Pilgrim women.  There were eighteen women on the Mayflower, and although none of them died during the crossing from England to Massachusetts, by the time of the first "Thanks Giving" meal, a year later in 1621, only four women had survived the brutal winter, spring sowing, and autumn harvest.  Four very tired women who needed to take care of fifty men and children daily. . . . if they didn't drop dead with their hand to the plow or wither away in a nighttime sweat from a succession of diseases contracted on the voyage, they took it as a sign that God meant for them to go on.

Holly is reading
Ginnie's Babysitting Business by Catherine Woolley

But the idea was growing.  "Oh, Mother, please let me tell people I can bring their children here!  Just afternoons.  It won't be very often.  And I'll really be the baby-sitter, honest I will.  You won't have to do anything!  Only their mothers'll feel all right about it if they know you're home."

Mother sighed deeply and went back to work on the soft apple pulp.  "I warn you I am not keen about this."

Lily is reading
Fluffy's Valentine's Day by Kate McMullan

The kids cut pictures out of magazines.
They pasted things on their boxes.
They sprinkled on glitter.
Nobody stopped by to see Fluffy all morning.
I don't think I like Valentine's Day, thought Fluffy.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Holiday Shelf: Valentine's Day

Saint Valentine
retold and illustrated by Robert Sabuda

When the jailer heard of the priest's arrest, he hurried to the cell.

"There has been an uprising in the streets and the Christians are being blamed," he told Valentine.  "Many have been imprisoned.  The emperor has ordered it.  There is nothing I can do."

Valentine slowly nodded and asked for a pen and ink and something to write on, which the jailer hurried to get.  When he came back, the priest quickly wrote on the scrap of papyrus and handed it back to the jailer.

Valentine Surprise
by Corinne Demas
illstrated by R. W. Alley

On Monday, Lily worked at her little table by the window.

She made a valentine.
But the heart was too pointy.

She hid it under her bed.

Valentine Thoughts
by Jane E. Gerver
illustrated by Kathy Mitchell

Round chocolate candy in a square golden box,

Red and pink sparkles on Valentine socks.

The Very Special Valentine
by Christine Tagg
illustrated by Maggie Kneen

"I spy a shower of emeralds,
a lovely green cascade!"

"But look up in the sky,"
calls Fox.

And Bunny's soon dismayed.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

February 12: Abraham Lincoln's Birthday

This year our observance of this great American's birthday was lost amid boxes of tissues, bottles of children's Advil, and the beeping of digital thermometers.

Sometimes you just have to let things go.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tuesday Tales

A weekly peek at what we're reading.
Post your peek in the comments and share your favorite books!

Anne is reading
The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

She stuck her head out and took a deep breath.  If she could eat the cold air, she would.  She thought cold snaps were like cookies, like gingersnaps.  In her mind they were made with white chocolate chunks and had a cool, brittle vanilla frosting.  They melted like snow in her mouth, turning creamy and warm.

Holly is reading
Miss Happiness and Miss Flower by Rumer Godden

Miss Flower was always frightened; perhaps the child who made the chip in her ear had been rough.  "I wish we had not come," said Miss Flower.

Miss Happiness sighed and said, "We were not asked."
Children are not asked either. No one had asked Nona Fell if she wanted to be sent from India to live with her uncle and aunt in England. Everyone had told her she would like it, but "I don't like it at all," said Nona.

Lily is reading
Little Brown Bear Goes to School by Elizabeth Upham

Cousin Tillie Bear had made a pan of nice hot chocolate to drink, and she told Little Brown Bear that he could get out the hand painted chocolate cups.

The chocolate set was beautiful.  Each of the cups had a soft pink background with a red and gray flower design painted on the side.

Little Brown Bear took three cups out of the china cupboard and carefully set them on the table.

"One, two, three,
One, two, three;
For Grandmother, Cousin Tillie,
And me!"


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Holiday Shelf: Groundhog Day

Gregory's Shadow
by Don Freeman

Gregory spent all day searching through the falling snow, and didn't even think about how scared he was.  He only thought about finding Shadow.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tuesday Tales

A weekly peek at what we're reading.
Post your peek in the comments and share your favorite books!

Anne is reading
Let's Bring Back by Lesley M. M. Blume

An amusingly prim, old-fashioned word for "commotion"; particularly amusing if the kerfuffle in question is not particularly prim.  Two delightful but equally underused synonyms: "hoo-ha" and "hullabaloo."

Holly is reading
Alone at Home by Barbara Shook Hazen

Amy covered her ears to drown out the sound.  She wondered why she ever wanted to stay home alone.  Then the ringing stopped.  And so did the scritch-scratch sound.  The silence was even scarier.  Amy couldn't help it.  She cried.

Lily is reading
School Days, a Little House Chapter Book by Laura Ingalls Wilder

School was closed the next day and the next while the blizzard raged on.  It was only the first of many blizzards that long, hard winter.  Sometimes there was no school for weeks on end.